Lessons – Grand Forks, ND
Popplers Music offers a semester-based lesson program featuring weekly, 30-minute lessons. 60-minute lessons are available upon request. Our semesters loosely follow our public school calendar, although the number of weeks per semester will vary. Students may join the program at any point in time. The fall and spring semesters will feature a recital to cap off the season, and while it is optional, it is highly encouraged to participate! Lesson fees are determined by each teacher, ranging between $20 and $40/half hour and all lessons occur during regular store hours. Please contact the store for further details!
We are working on showcasing our student recitals for you to see… Check back in a bit to see Recital reels!
Our Lesson Instructors
Giles Askim (Trombone / Euphonium / Tuba) since January 2023
Giles was born and raised in Williston, ND and is currently studying music education at the University of North Dakota, with plans to graduate in 2025. When he’s not playing tuba or trombone or euphonium, he enjoys watching movies and sitcoms. Giles once spent a few weeks in Germany and took the opportunity to climb the world’s tallest church!
Shelley Bares (Voice / Piano / Flute) since August 2016
Shelley grew up in Grand Forks and earned a bachelor’s degree in music education and vocal pedagogy from UND in 1976 and completed her master’s degree at the University of St. Thomas in 2001. Outside of her music life, Shelley enjoys gardening, time with her kids and grandkids, and being at the lake. In college, Shelley spent two summers studying abroad in Norway!
Spencer Black (Guitar / Bass Guitar / Piano / Alto Sax) since August 2015
Spencer grew up in Devils Lake, ND and attended Lake Region State College and the University of North Dakota, studying music education, music theory and composition, and criminal justice. Outside of his music life, Spencer enjoys crocheting. He is also a second degree blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do!
Taylor Blaine (Piano) since November 2022
Taylor grew up in Thief River Falls, MN and attended the University of North Dakota, earning a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in piano in 2017. When she's not playing piano, Taylor enjoys spending time at Bad Medicine Lake, golfing, cooking, and spending time with friends and family. As someone who is studying to become an optometrist, she has harvested tissue for corneal donation!
Mike Blake (Percussion) since May 2019
Mike grew up in Marion, ND and attended the University of North Dakota, earning a bachelor’s degree in music education with an emphasis in percussion in 1974 and his master’s degree in 1976. He also studied privately with Marv Dahlgren, principal percussionist of the Minnesota Orchestra. Outside of his music life, Mike enjoys practicing, going to movies, and practicing (no, that’s not a typo!). He was fortunate to receive a donor heart over 25 years ago!
Katie Cermak (Flute / Piano) since September 2020
Katie grew up in Mandan, ND and currently attends the University of North Dakota, where she is studying flute performance. She plans to graduate in the spring of 2023. When not playing flute, Katie loves to go on walks with her dog, Sadie. She apparently likes to get her hands dirty too as she used to work at a hands-on science museum!
Sydney Crockett (Piano) since August 2022
Sydney grew up in Langdon, ND and currently attends the University of North Dakota, where she is studying piano performance. She plans to graduate in the spring of 2025 and then pursue a Master's degree in pedagogy . In addition to playing piano, Sydney also enjoys playing flute, violin, cello, and singing! Outside of music, she enjoys baking, hanging out with family and friends, and interior decorating. She is also a huge hockey fan. During the hockey season, you can find her in the student section at the Ralph cheering on UND, while also keeping an eye up north on her favorite NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets!
Mary Ann Crow (Voice / Piano) since July 2022
Mary Ann grew up in Bottineau, ND, as well as Lake Metigoshe, just a short drive from International Music Camp. Lucky her! After studying opera and choral music, piano performance, and German language at both Minot State University and Universität Konstanz in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, she earned her Bachelor of Science in secondary education in 1990. When she’s not teaching, Mary Ann enjoys quilting, sewing, reading, watching films, cooking, baking, and traveling. In addition to playing in church since the age of 12, she also says, “Ich spreche Deutsch!” Mary Ann speaks German!
Angela Erickson (Piano) since February 2016
Angela grew up in Christine, ND and attended the University of North Dakota, earning her degree in elementary education in 2010. Outside of her music life, Angela enjoys reading, watching movies, playing piano and blogging about entertainment. She was on the news the day she was born, but no one was there to blog about it!
Jonas Fisher (Piano) since August 2022
Jonas comes to us from Warroad, MN. He holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of North Dakota and a master’s degree in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as a Professional Studies Certificate in Technology and Applied Composition. Besides playing piano, he enjoys riding bike, hiking, drinking tea, and spending time with friends and family, especially as proud uncle Jonas to his seven nieces and nephews. At the ripe age of 18, on his birthday no less, Jonas was a featured presenter at the 2015 Grand Forks TEDx event!
James Flores (Guitar) since January 2022
James comes to us from the Lone Star State, specifically Corpus Christi, Texas. He moved to Grand Forks at the age of 10 and currently attends the University of North Dakota, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in guitar. He plans to graduate in the fall of 2022. When James isn't studying, you can find him exercising, playing video games, or watching movies. Because of Mick Jagger’s incredible longevity, James has been able to see one of his favorite bands live in concert three times!
Ana Galdavadze (Violin / Viola) since August 2021
Ana comes to us from Tbilisi, Georgia (country) and currently attends the University of North Dakota, where she is studying violin performance under Dr. Alejandro Drago. She also holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Tbilisi V. Sarajishvili State Conservatoire and Siblelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. When she is not making music, Ana loves to travel and has been to many countries, where she enjoys getting to know locals, listening to their life stories, and embracing their culture. Speaking of culture, she enjoys cooking and loves inviting people to taste her dishes!
Josh Gratton (Piano) since January 2017
Josh grew up in Langdon, ND and attended the University of North Dakota, earning degrees in music and business in 2017. Outside of his music life, Josh enjoys listening to podcasts, spending time with friends and family, and working out. Josh was once chased by a ram in Glacier National Park! Thankfully he wasn’t hurt.
Eunsong Kim (Piano) since September 2022
Eunsong grew up in Seoul, Korea and currently attends the University of North Dakota, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in music education. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (2014) and a master’s in music education (2017) from the Seoul National University of Education. Eunsong also studied at Tokyo Gakugei University in Japan for one year as an exchange student. She has previously taught in both Korea and China as an elementary teacher and music teacher, respectively. When she has a chance to get away from music, Eunsong enjoys talking with friends and family in Korea, going for a walk or drive, and taking a rest with a sip of coffee! She has lived in four countries and traveled to around 20 others. She loves to travel and enjoys the new environments as they have had a multicultural impact on her life!
Mary Morales (Saxophone / Clarinet) since June 2022
Mary grew up in a military family, spending parts of her life in New Mexico, Texas, Florida, Portugal, and most recently Okinawa, Japan before making the trek to Grand Forks. She earned her Bachelor of Art in Music in 2020 and her Master’s in Music Education in 2022, both from the University of North Dakota. When she isn’t playing several different instruments, Mary likes to draw, play video games, and watch anime. She also likes to collect Pokémon plushies, ship models, and antique teacups!
Amber Sickler (Piano) since January 2022
Amber spent her youth in Glendive, Montana and after a two-year stint at Dickinson State University, is now attending the University of North Dakota, where she is studying music education. She plans to graduate in the spring of 2024. When Amber isn't studying, you can find her playing video games or on the hardcourt with the UND Tennis Club. In 2020, she spent a week dressing up and taking part in the Miss Montana pageant! While it was sometimes stressful, she still enjoyed every second of it.
Itzel Fabiola Orellana Sierra (Cello / Violin) since June 2022
Itzel grew up surrounded by green peaks in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She earned her bachelor's degree in Music from the Universidad Nacional Autónama de Honduras in 2017. Her commitment to excellence brought her to the University of North Dakota, where she is pursuing her master’s degree in cello performance under Dr. Simona Barbu. Besides playing cello, she enjoys taking walks, spending time with family and friends, salsa dancing, and playing with her niece. As a Central American, Itzel has finally experienced her first actual winter in North Dakota with blizzards, building snowmen, and slipping on the ice while walking to school.
Jenna Tullis (Piano) since January 2020
Jenna grew up in Sauk Centre, MN and attended the University of North Dakota, earning degrees in music therapy and piano performance in 2016. She also has a Master of Science in music therapy from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Outside of her music life, Jenna enjoys cooking, knitting, reading, camping, and spending time with friends and family, including her Irish twin, who is 364 days younger than her!
Tyler York (F Horn) since June 2021
Tyler spent part of his childhood moving from town to town in northwest Minnesota, eventually going to high school and graduating from May-Port CG in Mayville, ND. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music performance from the University of North Dakota in 2006. When Tyler is not making music, he enjoys hunting (mostly bow hunting for deer, but he does also enjoy rifle and muzzleloader deer hunting and waterfowl hunting). Tyler is also one of the repair technicians here at Popplers!